Friday, December 14, 2007

Branding Curacao's International Financial Sector

Some 18 months ago, out of pure interest, I started examining what could be the unique competitive advantages of Curacao's international financial sector. The many years of expertise suggest that a unique competitive advantage must exist. Only, I believe the sector has been promoting benefits that now exist in most jurisdictions.

Recently a picture of a beautiful Curacao monument used in a some promotional material for the sector, triggered a discussion and further thought. First about the image the sector really wants to portray. Second, about what potential clients are impressed by and therefore what image (brand) the sector should portray. And then we discussed what picture would best fit with what these clients look for in a Caribbean jurisdiction and therefore what picture we should use. A classic brand essence exercise, but done informally.

I do not know. As many Curacaoans I am proud of our monuments and the fact that our city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Monuments are classic and depict a proper conservatism. That image may very well be necessary. I also know that in at least some sub sectors of the industry, the people are young, risk-takers, educated at some of the premier schools of the world. Now everyone is connected 24/7, the world is fast, global. Unfortunately, in international business, we expect images to be the same wherever we are. That suggests a "seamless fit".

So, it merits further thought and discussion. Most people in the industry are accountants or lawyers, who are less inclined to truly "market". That is not their strength. Proper market research, followed by the appropriate strategy would be a good step to take.

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